“The first time I saw it I felt sick all day, but it’s not so bad the second time around,” LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney told us Tuesday as he leaned against a brick wall on 12th Street.
We stood with him outside of a screening of Shut Up and Play the Hits: The Very Loud Ending of LCD Soundsystem, a rockumentary capturing the band’s epic Madison Square Garden farewell show in April 2011 and the following 24 hours in the life of frontman/mastermind James Murphy. Even though fans watched from butter-stained velvet seats and not a packed world-famous arena, there was applause after every song.
At the screening, presented by the Peggy Siegal Company, we spotted John Leguizamo, Anne Hathaway, designer Charlotte Ronson, actor Alex Karpovsky, DJ Chelsea Leyland,
confirmed couple downplayed duo Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach and the entire band, who was catching the film once more after a private friends and family screening a few weeks prior.
The film explored Mr. Murphy’s possible reasons for LCD Soundsystem disbanding after just three albums—his age, the pressure of being a rockstar and the loss of anonymity due to celebrity, all of which struck us as ironic, as Mr. Murphy dazzled in an all white linen suit and Chinese tennis shoes, beaming a proud smile as the cameras flashes captured the gray on his stubbly face. He looked all the rockstar. All his age. And comfortable.
At the after party at Lilium at the W Union Square, Aziz Ansari (who hosted the shindig) told The Observer that he’d been a huge LCD fan since he heard their first single “Losing My Edge.”
“I remember anxiously waiting for their next album to leak and then I had the pleasure of meeting James and we became really good friends. Great dude,” Mr. Ansari said while pouring some champagne for some friends lined up on a leather banquette.
The basement club was packed and the ceiling was low. We bumped into Kaylee Defer (Gossip Girl) who was blonde, tan and dressed in snug jeans and a halter. She wasn’t feeling the scene either.
“I don’t like crowded bars,” she told us while anxiously looking for someone. We helped by pointing in the direction of a waxy-moustached fellow we had seen her with earlier. We asked what her next stop was. “Anywhere else,” she said with a nervous smile. “Tight spaces are not for me.”
The Observer started thinking about our own escape too, pondering somewhere quiet like the restaurant Marlow & Sons, which was repeatedly referenced in Shut Up as the place the band and friends would all meet the night after their final show.
Mr. Murphy walked by after taking a group photo with his ex-bandmantes and we asked, “Are you all going to Marlow’s again to celebrate?”
He giggled and said, “No. I’m actually going to Bilbao.”
“A restaurant?” we asked.
“No,” Mr. Murphy chuckled. “Bilbao, Spain. To DJ. That’s what I do now.”
He grinned and scanned the room and we were certain he was reflecting on his career, the Grammy nominations, his comrades and his final night as James Murphy The Rockstar. Or maybe he was just trying to find someone who didn’t think Bilbao was a restaurant.
The movie will be in theaters one night only, July 18; find a theater near you here.
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